Real Answers from Real Pilots

Horizon Pilot Development Program

This question is mostly geared to Tory (unless of course someone else is familiar with the
Horizon Pilot Development Program).

Just found out today that Horizon will be coming to my flight school later this month for interviews and read about the program details and requirements online. If you happen to be familiar with the program and can answer, what I would like to know is:

  1. Once accepted, is it a job offer? The requirements are really low, just a PPL and other minor things but the program states “Pilots sign an agreement to work for Horizon Air for a minimum of two years after reaching ATP minimums.” So it sounds like a job offer if accepted into the program, but getting a job offer with only a PPL also sounds suspect.

  2. What would it take for them to rescind the job offer it it is indeed a job offer? Obviously things like losing your First Class Medical or a DUI, but what about multiple checkride failures? Since they only require a PPL, there are plenty of possibilities a candidate would fail several checkrides, or as long as you eventually pass they won’t care?

  3. In addition, the application has a resume requirement. While I have one currently, what if any flight information should I include. As their minimum requirement is just a PPL and I have my own instrument checkride in a couple days, not really sure what to include in the resume. Perhaps just the date of my private pilot certificate and hours as of today?

Thanks in advance.

PS does Horizon have a Flow with Alaska?


Horizon is Tory territory and I’m certain he’ll respond but until he does I do have some answers:

  1. There’s nothing suspicious at all. As we’ve been saying, there was a pilot shortage and all indications are that things are going to get worse. The earlier an airline can lock someone in the better. It is a Conditional Job Offer but the key word is “conditional”.

  2. I’m sure they’ll present you with the details but I guarantee you checkride busts are in there. As would be accidents and incidents. Trust me if you give them reason to rescind they will. Again, it’s “conditional”.

  3. They want a resume because they want some info on who you are. Whatever flight experience you have they’ll want to see as well as your non-aviation employment, education etc.


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Thanks Adam. Yeah, I figured the job offer would be conditional but it’s still a bit crazy to me to think that as a private pilot, I can still get a job offer, even if it’s “conditional”. From what I mostly read, the conditional job offers sounded like the come after about 500 hours total time, or from regionals with really bad reputations that I won’t name that will try and get you after your PPL. So to see a well respected regional like Horizon doing so is both interesting and exciting.

Hi Sam!

I am not very familiar with Horizon’s Pilot Development Program. It’s not really in my wheelhouse and it’s also probably best that I allow the recruiters to provide specifics. So rest assured the recruiters will go over all of this, but essentially

  1. If accepted, it is a conditional job offer.

  2. I don’t know the specifics but it’s all spelled out in the contract that you’ll sign.

  3. This is a screenshot of the flight experience section of my resume.

    That should give you an idea of what to include.

Technically there is no flow program from Horizon to Alaska. There is something slightly different called a Pathways program. While they are similar, it would be wrong to call it a true flow. But in short, there is an interview process to be selected into the program. Once you’re in your name goes on a list in seniority order. Then, when Alaska needs more pilots they will draw pilots from the top down as necessary. There are also minimum experience requirements that need to be met before an official job offer is made. Essentially you have to upgrade. You can’t just sit back and chill as an FO until your name is called. You need to prove to Alaska that you truly want to work for them and you need to prove that you capable of being a good leader.

Edit: I also just want to point out that this type of program is really not that uncommon at all. Virtually every regional has some kind of program with a fancy name. The shortage is real. The regionals need to be proactive. Although just a CJO, you still have to prove your worth by completing the rest of your ratings. There really is very little risk for Horizon to invest in a PPL holder. Even if they loan PDP participants money to complete ratings, if you are unsuccessful I believe you have to give the money back.

This link has a lot of helpful info: Horizon Air


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Thanks so much Tory, especially for the screenshot of the resume.


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My pleasure :slightly_smiling_face:

Btw, I see it’s your birthday month. Happy Birthday!

Btw btw, love the socially distanced checkride profile pic :laughing:

Thank you, though I think that cake symbol means the anniversary of when I joined (my birthday was in June). haha

It is :relaxed: :upside_down_face: Happy Anniversary! Lol Ok now I see. Two years. Thank you for two years of your continued participation, Sam.

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Just wanted to shoot you an update. Submitted my application a few days after this thread, had my interview a few weeks ago and got an acceptance a couple days ago in the the Horizon Pilot Development Program. After taking a couple of days to let the offer sink in, I accepted and now have a (conditional) job offer with Horizon. Still a long road ahead, my own timeline doesn’t have me flying with Horizon until 2024, but if you’re still around and haven’t made the jump to a major, I look forward to bumping into you and maybe even be your right-seater for a shift or two. Thanks for the help.

As an aside, if anyone is interested in the program, I can offer what I know so far. As I just accepted, I’m sure I will learn more from being in the actual program and what to expect moving forward.



Excellent news, Sam! Yes! Flying together would be cool. It’s only a matter of time before that actually happens.

Also, thank you offering to be a beacon for the external Pilot Development Program. Much appreciated.

If I haven’t commented on your profile pic already, I love the socially distanced checkride pass photo :laughing:


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That is excellent news, congratulations! Please keep us in the loop.


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Congratulations on the acceptance! I too have an interview coming up with the program and was wondering if I could get in touch with you to discuss how your interview went. Let me know. Thanks!

Sure, just let me know how, unless you want to discuss / ask on the thread. I don’t think there is a DM or chat function here that I’m aware of here.



The interview went well! I was wondering what the turnaround time was for you. They said about two weeks, just wanted to see how soon others were notified.

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It was a smidge over 2 weeks. I interviewed on a Friday and got a call back on the Tuesday 2.5 weeks later, so 18 days total for me. Got a call, talked about the program a bit. They sent me the contract to look over and they will give you some time to respond, and whether or not you will accept and enter the program. I ended up taking a couple days to think about it and gather some questions after reading the contract. Called back, asked my questions, and before ending the call, let the Horizon recruiter know to be expecting my signed forms within a few minutes. :grinning:


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